What is Juneteenth actually celebrating?
Juneteenth celebrates the day that enslaved people in Texas were told they were free. This happened on June 19, 1865.
Why is it called Juneteenth?
Juneteenth is a holiday that celebrates when slavery ended in America. Some people also call it Emancipation Day or Juneteenth Independence Day. The name “Juneteenth” comes from the month and day that the holiday happens, which is June 19th.
What does the Juneteenth symbol mean?
The Juneteenth flag has a star that is new and bursting on the horizon. The red, white, and blue colors show that American slaves and their descendants include everyone. This new star represents freedom for all people.
When did Juneteenth become a federal (national) holiday in the U.S.?
On June 17, 2021, Juneteenth, also known as Emancipation Day or Freedom Day, became a federal holiday in the United States. The historic bill, officially titled the Juneteenth National Independence Day Act, was signed into law by President Joe Biden. This marked the recognition and commemoration of June 19th, 1865, when Union General Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston, Texas, to announce the end of slavery and enforce the Emancipation Proclamation, two and a half years after it had been issued. The federal recognition of Juneteenth as a holiday serves as a reminder of the enduring struggle for freedom, the celebration of African American heritage and achievement, and the ongoing pursuit of equality and justice for all.
Excerpted and adapted from: Freelancer, W. (2023). Juneteenth Facts & Worksheets. KidsKonnect. https://kidskonnect.com/history/juneteenth/#What_is_Juneteenth_actually_celebrating Used with permission.
Juneteenth and the Color Red
Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture
Each year when my family celebrates Juneteenth, our flyers boldly request that each quest bring something “Red.” We then add examples, like red soda pop, watermelon, apples, or even red beans. Folks bring these items without much thinking about their origin. In fact, the roots of the symbolic efficacy of the color red can be traced to West Africa, where it has been associated with strength, spirituality, life, and death. Furthermore, culinary historians, trace the color to certain foods that traveled to the Americas along with the Africans during the trans-Atlantic slave trade, such as hibiscus and the kola nut.